Staten Island District Attorney, Michael McMahon, launched the Firearms Anti-Violence Unit last week. This unit will be headed by Assistant District Attorney Nina Spadafora. The purpose of the unit will be strictly prosecuting all of Staten Island’s gun cases, including murder. The District Attorney’s office stated they would also “help identify drivers of shooting and gun violence incidents and better target community-specific efforts to reduce the incidence of gun violence.”
District Attorney, Michael McMahon said in a statement, “This new Firearms Anti-Violence Unit is part of our ever vigilant fight to drive the crime numbers down and keep the streets of Staten Island safe by jailing those who victimize others with gun violence or traffic in the sale of illegal weapons. No community should ever have to live in fear of gun violence.”
Staten Island has seen a 17.2 percent increase in the number of gun arrests since last year. The number of homicides, shooting incidents and victims is up 51.4 percent since 2015. The Firearms Anti-Violence Unit was created with the purpose of lowering the number of gun-related crimes. Funds to create the new unit were provided by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Criminal Justice.